Tuesday, May 24, 2011

RockDawg Interview with Diane

This is my interview with Diane, the co-founder of RockDawg. RockDawg is a new penny auction site that has many exciting features that regular penny auction bidders will like. There are two types of auctions - the regular penny auctions and "unleashed auctions". I'll let Diane do the talking now, to tell you how awesome RockDawg is!

Sid: So you have Unleashed Auctions in addition to the regular penny auctions.  Can you tell us more about it?
Diane: At RockDawg we feature both Unleashed Auctions as well as regular Timed Auctions.  An Unleashed Auction is an auction which puts everyone on a level playing field.  Our Unleashed Auctions have no win limits.  Whether you’re a power bidder or a brand new user, everyone has an equal chance of winning.  For example, a bidder could win a $100 gift card with only one bid.  For those who are still big fans of the timed auctions, we are continuing to feature Timed Auctions randomly.

Sid: Why did you choose to have both of these models?
Diane: We chose to make the site more interesting to our users.  In the Unleashed Auctions, every user has the same chance of winning.  Some users prefer this as opposed to Timed Auctions which can sometimes be dominated by power bidders.  Many users feel intimidated and shy away from entering into the auction because they know the power bidders will continue bidding even to the point where the item cost is pushed up to way above retail.

Sid: Do you think in the future, one model is going to be more popular over the other?
Diane: We believe the randomness and the thrill of winning the Unleashed Auctions combined with the various contests we offer will prove to be the most popular with our users.

Sid: Are you planning some other auction models like lowest unique bid?
Diane: We are not planning any other auction models at this time.  However, we like to stay flexible to the needs and wants of our users.

Sid: Any thoughts on the recent lawsuits against penny auctions?
Diane: Our thoughts on the recent lawsuits against penny auctions are that the suit will not prevail.  There is no merit to their allegations.

Sid: Do you think ‘Entertainment Shopping’ is in its nascent stage, or do you think it has already peaked, considering there are so many auctions sites online today?
Diane: We believe that penny auction sites have not hit their peak.  We believe that there is a big demand for entertainment shopping and we feel the industry is headed for additional growth.

Sid: Why do you think a lot of penny auctions just close shop within a few months of starting?
Diane: We believe that a lot of penny auctions close shop with a few months of starting because they have not done their homework prior to opening their doors.  Another big problem is that they do not have enough capital to fund their operation and do not have the proper marketing set in place to direct traffic to their site.  Therefore, they go out of business very quickly.

Sid: What attracted you to the penny auction model?
Diane: The partners at RockDawg were attracted to the penny auction world by the excitement of the industry.  We wanted to provide shopping and entertainment to others from the comfort of one’s own living room.  

Sid: How is RockDawg different from other penny auctions online?
Diane: RockDawg is different from other penny auction in that we have a dog theme and all three business partners have dogs and love animals of all kinds.  Users will sometimes send in pictures of their own dogs to be featured in some of our Unleashed Auctions.  The comments we have received from our users are very positive.  They love seeing their own dogs in the spotlight.  We are known for our fair prices and our honesty.  We excel in customer service and expedient shipping times.

Sid: Tell us something about the people who started RockDawg. How big is your team?
Diane: We are three women who are friends.  All of us have dogs and all of us love animals and shopping.  Each of us bring something different to the table and we all complement one another in different areas of this business, which together makes us a strong team.

Sid: What are your plans for the medium term?  Any exciting news or promotions you can share?
Diane: Our plans for the medium term are to continue with both the Unleashed Auctions and the Timed Auctions.  Who knows, we may try different models in the future…That’s one thing that we can say about RockDawg, we are very flexible and sensitive to our user’s requests.  But for now, we have a new contest coming that should be a lot of fun for our users.  We will be running a dog show featuring 10 pictures of our user’s dogs.  All of the auctions will be will be set to go off at COMPLETELY random prices within a one or two hour time period.  After ALL ten of the Auctions are closed, three dogs will also be randomly chosen for the position of “Win”, “Place” and “Show”.  The “Win” dog will receive a $50 card of choice, the “Place” dog will receive a $25 card of choice and the “Show” dog will receive a $15 card of choice.
So, in addition to winning the regular auction, every winner in this contest also has the random chance to win an additional prize.  It is our goal to have as many users playing together during the same one time period as possible.  This not only makes for more fun, but it also spreads the cost of the auctions among many users.  We think the dog show will be a big hit and so much fun.

Sid: Have you started companies/online ventures in the past?
Diane: Some of us have started business in the past, but nothing as fun and unique as RockDawg.  We are truly enjoying the adventure.  We love our users and the people we meet through this business every single day. We hope to make loyal customers of every single users and to be in business for a long, long time to come.  Rock on!

Check out RockDawg here!


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